Ottawa sees biggest surge in COVID-19 cases yet

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa jumped by 50 on Wednesday, increasing the total number of positive cases by more than one-third, Ottawa Public Health reports. 

Confirmed cases jumped by 50 Wednesday, health officials said

A transit rider waits for a train at Hurdman station during the COVID-19 pandemic on March 31, 2020. (Jonathan Dupaul/CBC)

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa jumped by 50 on Wednesday, the single biggest daily increase since the outbreak began, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting.

It means the tally of positive cases has increased by one-third in just 24 hours.

Ottawa-Gatineau now has more than 250 confirmed positive cases,194 in Ottawa and 64 in the Outaouais, 14 of which were added Wednesday. The vast majority of cases in the Outaouais are in urban areas.

In Ottawa, 18 per cent of those who tested positive for the respiratory illness have required hospitalization, and five per cent required intensive care. The youngest positive case in the city is two years old and the oldest is 97. 

Testing backlog

Brent Moloughney, associate medical officer of health with OPH, said the jump in new cases Wednesday is in large part due to a backlog in testing. The majority of newly reported results stemmed from samples taken on or before March 19.

"They reflect cases that have occurred some weeks ago," Moloughney said.

OPH said a new regional testing facility in Ottawa is helping reduce wait times and is currently able to turn around results within two days. That could contribute to a sudden glut of new positive results.

Ottawa now has five confirmed outbreaks at institutions in the city: three retirement homes (Promenade, Maplewood and Park Place), one long-term care home (Garden Terrace) and the newest site, a group home run by the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, where one worker has tested positive. 

Five new cases have been announced by the Belleville-area Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

Ontario now has 2,392 confirmed cases of the respiratory illness. The increase of 426 over Tuesday sets another one-day high for the province.

Quebec has 4,611 confirmed and suspected cases, up 449 from Tuesday.


  • An earlier version of this story said two people at a group home run by the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities have tested positive. In fact only one person, an employee, has tested positive.
    Apr 01, 2020 7:28 PM ET


Laura Glowacki is a reporter based in Ottawa. Previously, she worked as a reporter in Winnipeg and as an associate producer for CBC's Metro Morning in Toronto. Find her on Twitter @glowackiCBC and reach her by email at

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